Sunday, May 12, 2013

IMUG visit to Museo Italiano

On 7 May seventeen IMUG members visited the Museo Italiano in Faraday Street, Carlton. Opened in October 2010, exhibitions at the Museo Italiano explore the experiences of Italian migrants in Australia, the influence of Italian culture on life in Australia and the resulting Italian Australian culture that has developed. Among the permanent exhibitions is a timeline along one wall illustrating key events in Italian and Australian history as well as Italian Australian history. One display portrays settlement in a new country while the Italian influence in Australia on food, language, performance and sport is the theme of another exhibition. Many techniques including the use of audio visual material is used tell the many stories.

After visiting the museum, Paolo Baracchi, Coordinator - Co.As.It. Italian Historical Society, spoke to the group about the Italian Historical Society which was founded in 1981 with the aim of
collecting, preserving, interpreting and promoting the history of Italians in Australia. An overview of the collections was provided as well as an outline of the programs offered during the year. The collections are increasingly used for family history research and a number of research guides have been prepared to assist researchers with their enquiries.

DB TextWorks is used to catalogue the society's collections and Web Publisher is used to make the catalogues of three of the collections available to the public via the society's website. There are four search options - Browse the entire archive, Search image collection, Search diplomatic archive (information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Italy covering the period 1856-1947)  and Search internee database.

There are presently 9,000 photographs catalogued in the image collection. The catalogue record displays a small image and larger images can be obtained from the society. The images online are harvested by Trove and are therefore available in any searches made in this national database. Search in Trove ( for Vendramini to see an example.

More information about the Museo Italiano and the Italian Historical society can be found on their website.

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